Thyroid Dysfunction and Arterial Stiffness. Does the Restoration of Thyroid Function Tests Offer any Benefit?

Panagiotis Anagnostis1, 2, Spyridon N. Karras2, Efthimios Gotsis1, Ioanna Gouni- Berthold3, *
1 2nd Propedeutic Department of Internal Medicine, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Hippokration Hospital, Thessaloniki, Greece
2 Unit of Reproductive Endocrinology, First Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, ‘‘Papageorgiou’’ General Hospital, Medical School, Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Thessaloniki, Greece
3 Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Preventive Medicine, University of Cologne, Kerpener St. 62, 50937 Cologne, Germany

© 2013 Anagnostis et al.

open-access license: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International Public License (CC-BY 4.0), a copy of which is available at: This license permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Center for Endocrinology, Diabetes and Preventive Medicine, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany. Kerpener St. 62, 50937, Cologne, Germany; Tel: +49 221 478-4070; Fax: +49 221 478-4179; Email:


A growing body of evidence suggests that hypothyroidism and hyperthyroidism, either as overt or subclinical states, are associated with increased risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Except for the increased prevalence of lipid disorders, coagulation abnormalities, endothelial dysfunction, cardiac arrhythmias, ventricular hypertrophy and hypertension have been proposed as the most plausible pathways for this association, increased arterial stiffness (AS) may also play a role. Increased AS has emerged recently as an early indicator of CVD in various studies. On the other hand, thyroid dysfunction, mainly hypothyroidism (overt and subclinical) seems to be associated with increased AS, although data are heterogeneous, emerging from different populations, with various methodologies of AS assessment and with variable periods of observation. Restoration of thyroid function with L-thyroxin replacement seems to reverse AS parameters, whereas data on the effect of normalization of thyroid function in hyperthyroidism on AS are inconsistent. The present review provides insights on the association between AS and thyroid dysfunction and discusses the available data about potential benefits of the restoration of thyroid function on AS.

Keywords: Arterial stiffness, thyroid dysfunction, hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism subclinical hypothyroidism, subclinical hyperthyroidism.